While Florida plans for Hurricane Irma, Major League Baseball has been trying to decide what to do with the New York Yankees series scheduled to be played in St. Petersburg against the Rays next Monday through Wednesday. On Friday, the league came to a decision.
The Tampa Bay Rays will be the home team and host the Yankees at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets in Flushing, NY.
The Mets will be on the road in Chicago to face the Cubs, so their stadium was available. There were initial discussions about the Yankees/Rays series being played at Guaranteed Rate Park in Chicago – home of the White Sox – or Oriole Park in Baltimore. The league also asked the Yankees if they would be willing to swap their home series with the Rays later this month, but the organization decided against that due to tickets already sold for those games.
Part of the reason MLB chose to have the series at Citi Field instead of at a neutral site in a different city is due to issues with hotel accommodations, according to MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal. Only the Rays will need a hotel in New York.
The Yankees, who are begin a three-game series in Texas tonight, will fly back to New York following Sunday’s game. The Rays will head to New York following their weekend series in Boston.
The Yankees have played home games at the Mets’ stadium before, including when they spent the entire 1974-75 seasons at Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium underwent renovations. The Bronx Bombers hosted the Angels at Shea for one game in April 1998, after an expansion joint fell through Yankee Stadium’s upper deck.
Hurricane Irma, which was downgraded from a category 5 to a category 4 on Friday, is expected to hit Florida this weekend.